Senior Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast
I am a senior lecturer (equivalent of an associate professor in the US system) in the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. For the past 6 years, I have served as the co-chair of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Solar System Science Collaboration (SSSC). I also recently completed a two-year term on the Rubin Survey Cadence Optimization Committee (SCOC), as the liaison to the SSSC. I also lead the SSSC’s effort to identify which potential LSST observing strategy enhances or inhibits Solar System science from the wide range of possible survey cadences. Since October 2021, I have served as the gender equality committee (GEC) co-chair for my university’s School of Maths and Physics. This role includes co-organizing outreach events on diversity and helping to enact/revise departmental policy related to equity, diversity, and inclusion issues, with a particular focus on gender. My research expertise is in big data for planetary astronomy, focusing on the studies of Solar System minor bodies and applying citizen science to mine large planetary datasets. In particular, I am interested in studying the trans-Neptunian region, the Inner Oort Cloud, Centaurs, and interstellar objects with Rubin Observatory. In preparation for the start of the survey in 2025, I am also exploring how best to combine future LSST Solar System data with follow-up observations. With collaborators at the University of Washington, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Harvard & Smithsonian, my research group has been leading the development of Sorcha, an LSST Solar System simulator, to enable comparison of LSST Solar System discoveries with what would be expected to have be found based on dynamical models/population models.